• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 12
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A Mother’s Gift

I sat beside my grandmother’s hospital bed and waited for the inevitable. I watched for over a year as her cancer spread from her breast, to her lungs, to her liver and finally to her kidneys. Her plump, red cheeks, deteriorated into a thin, frail, pale skeleton. With tubes in her nose and mouth, she tried to speak, but I had to reach very close to hear her.

        “Clara, I have something of your mother’s in my house that she wanted me to give to you. She told me before she died that she put it in her gold jewelry box in the attic next to the old wooden chair. I promised her I would give it to you on the day of your wedding, but we both know that’s not possible.”

        Before I could find out what it was, my grandmother’s eyes closed and the machine flat lined. I kissed her cold lifeless hand and wished her peace.

        A week went by and the funeral was over. I missed my grandmother Mae, but I was glad her suffering was done. To be frank, the burden was too much. It was disheartening and exhausting watching her go through chemotherapy, her constant nausea and vomiting. What was it all for? In the end the chemotherapy didn’t kill the cancer, the cancer killed her.

        After things settled down, I went to my grandmother’s house to clear out. I spoke with a prominent real estate to put her house on the market. One thing I had to do first was go upstairs to the attic. Once I pulled down the attic ladder it smelled musty. Upon my ascent up the old rickety stairs, the dust clogged my nose and I sneezed. The floor boards were dirty and the windows covered with cob webs. I saw the old wooden chair. On top was a dusty brown blanket. Next to it was a bin which I assumed had the jewelry box my grandmother spoke of. I opened the bin and dust filled the air. Inside were several items; an old pink baby blanket, a few toy dolls, and even a picture of my father. He was a young handsome man.


A Mother’s Gift

Dark short black hair, broad, dimpled cheeks. My parents died too soon. Then I spotted the jewelry box. It was gold as my grandmother said. I opened it and a little ballerina popped up. I turned the knob on the bottom of the box and the ballerina twirled to music. I couldn’t make out the tune. Inside was a tinier box and I opened it. A tear rolled down my cheek when I saw what was inside. My mother’s white pearl earrings she wore the day of her wedding. I held them close.

        Several years later I did marry and wore my mother’s pearl earrings. I felt her presence that day and knew she was watching over me.